10 cool things to do at the library

October 5, 2022

Books are only tip of the iceberg when it comes to what libraries offer and what your library card can help you access. You can find everything from video games to streaming music, literacy kits, thermal cameras and more!

Each of our 39 branches from Haida Gwaii to Port Hardy and Sooke is a little unique too, offering special features ranging from seed libraries to mystery book bags and crafts. Stop in and explore your local library and check out some of these fun things available to customers across our system.

Here are 10 cool things you can do at the library:

1. Get Music. Check out the Naxos Sheet Music Library at a branch computer and download printable scores from a database of over 35,000 works or access 15-million free (and ad free) tunes from Freegal Music. You can stream music up to three hours every day and download five songs each week.

2. Learn a skill. From photography to 3D animationVIRL’s LinkedIn Learning database offers business, software, technology and creative video courses and tutorials taught by industry experts.

3. Stream movies. Try watching a film from Kanopy. It has one of the largest and most unique collections in the world, with 26,000 movies, documentaries and indie and foreign films.tt

4.Create a 3D bookmark or any 3D masterpiece! If you think it, you can make it on our 3D printer. Send your design to our Creativity Commons team in Nanaimo and they’ll print it and send the result to your home branch.  At $0.10 per gram, it’s an affordable and fun activity. Learn more and get tips on how to create your design.

5.Digitize home videos. The digital conversion station in the Creativity Commons in Nanaimo provides the equipment and hardware for customers to digitize their media and the ability to edit it. And did you know you can access this service from anywhere in our system? You can take your VHS and your USB to your local branch, they will send it to Nanaimo to have it digitized and then it will be sent back to your local branch for you to pick up.

6.Read a digital magazine or newspaper.  Browse our digital magazine and newspaper racks. Here are three places you can find magazines or newspapers:

  • The Libby App (download on Google Play or the App store): Find magazines like Maclean’sHello! Canada and Toronto Life
  • Pressreader :Get newspapers and magazines, including in 65 different languages
  • Canadian Newsstream  : This resource has 463 daily and weekly newspapers, including the Globe and MailNational PostToronto StarCalgary HeraldMontreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen.

7.Create stamps, prints and books.  VIRL’s CreativeBug has all kinds of great online craft tutorials, including a class where you carve stamp and create prints and books.  Find it here but for free access, please log into CreativeBug through our website first.

8.Get a digital audiobook or eBook. Download the Libby App to start browsing your digital audiobook and eBook options and find great recommendations for your next read.

9.Borrow video games. Borrow Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch games from your local library. Check out our collection.

10.Learn a new language. Mango Languages is a fun, interactive resource that lets you learn a new language from your computer or mobile device with your library card. It has 45 different languages and is free with a library card. Get started here.

If you need to get a library card, just visit your local branch or get started online.